The Daughter of the Regimentby Jean-Fran Bayard
Format of Original Source: Plot summary
Recommended Adaptation Length: 60 Minutes
Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely
At the opening of the opera Marie, the heroine, and vivandière in Napoleon’s Twenty-first Regiment, has been saved from falling over a precipice by Tony, a Tyrolean peasant, and is ever after the object of his special admiration and, shortly, of his love. She tells the story of her life, from which it appears that she was adopted as the Daughter of the Regiment because she was picked up on the field of battle by Sergeant Sulpice, who found upon her person a letter written by her father to the Marchioness de Berkenfeld. Tony’s reward for his rescue of Marie is his arrest as a spy, but not before he has declared his love for her. He easily clears up his record, and the soldiers decide he may have Marie’s hand if he will join them. He gives joyous assent to this proposition, but his hopes are suddenly dashed to the ground when the Marchioness de Berkenfeld appears. Sergeant Sulpice delivers the letter to her, after reading which she claims Marie as her niece, and carries her off amidst smothered imprecations by the soldiers and especially by Tony upon the Marchioness.
Silly plotting, including several discoveries of previously-unknown parentage, make modernizing this storyline probably unworkable, and the actual plot as it isn’t likely to improve with re-telling, or re-spinning. Best leave this one be, where it’s perfectly serviceable as a means for singers to sing some glorious opera tunes.
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